Home made

In the year 2011, why would anyone buy a cookbook?  A quick Google search of anything will give you one million versions of what you’re wanting to whip up.

There are some advantages to an analog cookbook. First of all they are generally full of pretty pictures to gawk at. Secondly, there is something to be said for having all you could want — technique, lists of equipment and ingredients, commentary — in one place. I guess that’s the most important part, convenience. Beyond all that, I can write notes down in a cookbook. All recipes are open to interpretation. If I want to use pecans instead of walnuts, I can make a note of that in the book instead of relying on an unreliable memory. I’m also a messy cook, and I’d much rather spill boiling liquid on a $40 cookbook than a $1,100 laptop.

Which brings us to Sunday. I was walking around Barns and Noble and “Home Made” by Yvette van Boven caught my eye.

Boven has an amazing job. From the book.

Boven splits her time between Amsterdam and Paris,. She is a freelance food stylist* and recipe writer and runs a lunch restaurant and catering business with her cousin … She also illustrates books and magazines.

Sounds like a sweet gig to me. Her illustrations are along side recipes about how to make cheese and ginger coffee. It’s a bit high brow, and there are recipes whose ingredients I could only get by traveling to a major city. Regardless, I’m going to give some of the stuff a shot, and might just learn a thing or two about curing salmon and making “famous” pork belly.

And despite having ingredients listed in there I’ve never heard of, most of the stuff is pretty accessible. I feel like I could cook her version of chicken liver pate or raspberry sorbet. If you come back here, I’m sure there will be a post or two about cooking some of Boven’s recipes.

*I don’t know what that it is, but it conjures images of dressing a whole chicken in baby clothes

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